The Story of Redemption
Rightly understood the message of the Bible will far exceed any hopes and dreams that you could ever have. The Bible is the progressive revelation of God and His purposes and plans for all mankind.
The story begins with the account of God creating the universe, including our earth and all of its animals and vegetation. God’s final creation was man and woman, made in His own image. God placed the man and woman, Adam and Eve, in a perfect garden where He met all their needs and had an ongoing personal relationship with them. God gave them one prohibition; they must not eat of one particular tree. They were warned very clearly that failure to obey would result in death.
The next personage appearing on the scene is a serpent, who was actually satan. Satan at some earlier time was a beautiful angel of God who led other angels in heaven in a failed rebellion against God. He was cast out of heaven and down to the earth. In his continued defiance against God, satan entered the garden and enticed Adam and Eve to participate in his rebellion by eating the forbidden fruit, in spite of God’s clear and loving warning, they bought into the lie of satan and ate the fruit.
Because God is a holy and just judge, Adam and Eve suffered the consequences of their disobedience. They immediately died spiritually and eventually died physically. The far reaching consequences of their disobedience would be that their new sin nature would be passed on to all mankind. But God, who cannot be thwarted put in motion a plan to undo the damage caused by their rebellion, God promised that a special offspring of Eve would come someday, crush satan and provide a way back to that beautiful personal relationship that Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden. Adam and Eve in their desperation attempted to cover their guilt and shame with fig leaves, but God graciously replaced the leaves with clothing made of skins from the shedding of the blood of innocent animals.
Throughout the Old Testament portion of the Bible, we see God continuing to reach out to man. Tragically, the vast majority of people spurned His love and rejected His commandments. But thankfully there was always a remnant of people and individuals who believed, trusted and obeyed the creator God. One such individual was a man named Abraham. God made two incredible promises to Abraham. One, I will make you into a great nation (Israel) and two; all peoples of the earth would be blessed through him. God kept both of those promises. Israel became a great nation, a nation chosen by God to be His people to bear His name and be a light in a dark world. To them God gave His laws and commandments and a system of animal sacrifice to provide for forgiveness and a covering for their sins against a holy God. Throughout the history of the Israelite nation, God inspired the Old Testament writers to foretell in great detail,
prophesies that could only be fulfilled by a coming savior who would be born at some future time. This special Israelite would one day fulfill the second part of the promise made to Abraham.
The New Testament opens with Israel under the oppressive rule of Rome, the heavens have been silent for four hundred years and very few people believed the second part of the promise made to Abraham would ever be fulfilled. In the midst of this darkness and despair, an announcement came from the God of heaven to a virgin named Mary that would bring light and hope to all peoples. An angel revealed that she would bear a son, his name would be called Jesus, and that he would save his people from their sins. At his birth an angel proclaimed, “I bring tidings of great joy which will be to all people, for there is born to you this day a savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
At the beginning of Jesus’ministry some 30 years later, we find the prophet, John the Baptist, announcing to all the world, “Behold the lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.” All of the slaughtered sacrificial lambs of the Old Testament atonement, would find their fulfillment in “the lamb” Jesus.
Over the next 3 ½ years of His ministry, He would present Himself as the long awaited Messiah, God in the flesh and as the way, the truth and the life and that no man could come to the Father but by him. He said that he came to seek and to save that which was lost (all mankind) to prove that He was who He claimed to be and that He would do what no mortal man could do. He would heal all manner of sickness, give sight to the blind, raise the dead, turn water to wine, and calm an angry storm and many other miracles. Most of these were direct fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah.
At the end of His public ministry, one of His disciples had betrayed Him, the Jews rejected Him as their savior and king and the Romans tortured Him and crucified Him on a cross. All of these events and much more were foretold in great detail centuries
before His rejection and death. In all of this Jesus was always in control of His destiny. He said that no one could take His life but that He laid it down freely.
Even at the point of crucifixion, He made it clear that He could call ten legions of angels to set Him free. He was not a martyr caught up in circumstances beyond His control. He clearly told all who would listen that He must die, be buried and raised again for our justification. His last words from the cross were, “It is finished.” He paid the sin debt for “ALL.” This is the story of Redemption. Your part is to “confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead and you will be saved.” For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.